Dave the Dealer: Cyber security card game leaves Dodgi office exposed

clock • 3 min read

Dave reflects on a game of top trumps that went wrong, and Huawei's raven-based marketing stunt

Playing Top Trumps as a young nipper has left me with an encyclopaedic knowledge of pointless car facts, like which has more cylinders out of a Lamborghini Countach or Ferrari F40 (it's the Countach, dummies - 12 versus eight).

So I was heartened and a little giddy at the prospect of reviving my boyhood hobby when I received a pack of ‘Cyber Security' top trumps' in the post the other day.

The game, created by the good people at security reseller Sec-1 and WatchGuard, allows players to do battle with various cyber security threats, including Trojans, cross-site scripting and weak passwords. The threats are scored across five factors, namely devastation, likelihood, nuisance factor, financial impact and defendability.

I don't mind admitting we're all addicted to the game here at Dodgi, so much so that Gordon forgot to do an important firewall update last week and we got breached.

Spamalot

As you'll know by now, I'm a lover of all of life's small ironies. Nothing tickles me more than watching commuters having to splutter their way through my plume of cigarette smoke in order to gain entrance to Romford Station when, before the ban, they could simply have avoided me as I puffed away on the platform.

So it was with much mirth that I observed how unsolicited spam-fighting law GDPR sparked possibly the biggest spike in unsolicited spam in living memory (or at least since I got hold of Plaistow Pete's PC Palace's contacts database in 2007).

In the run up to 25 May, Twitter and LinkedIn was awash with people complaining they were inundated with emails from people they'd never heard of asking them if they wanted more emails from them.

And in a further comic twist, it emerged that the European Commission fell short of the very law it had just introduced just days later when it accidentally published the records of 700 citizens.

Where's Alanis Morrissett when you need her?

McTrump at the double

Come 2020, when Donald Trump's first term as president expires, what the world will need is a reasonable, sober and clear-thinking successor who can bring a bit of normality back to the global order.

Step forward gun-toting, controversy-courting anti-virus doyen John McAfee, who has announced on Twitter that he is to take a second tilt at the US presidency in two years' time.

McAfee may have founded one of the world's top anti-virus software brands, but his antics over the years make Trump look like a particularly diffident librarian, with his bizarre involvement in a Belize murder investigation in 2012 among his career highlights.

Standing on a cryptocurrency ticket this time around, McAfee is currently 100-1 with Sky Bet to win, with Mark Zuckerberg, Kayne West and Dwayne ‘The Rock' Johnson among the other fancied contenders. At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if Shirl from accounts also threw her hat in the ring.

Caw blimey!

Like the Dairy Milk drumming gorilla, sometimes the best adverts have almost nothing to do with the product.

So kudos to aggressive Chinese vendor Huawei for drumming up some national press coverage by randomly placing five giant ravens in various hotspots around the country in its latest - slightly creepy - PR stunt.

Huawei erected the eight-foot tall avians to plug its latest smartphone, the P20 Pro, its core message being that Brits apparently need to get closer to wildlife. Its ‘study' found that one in four Brits has never seen a raven in the wild, with the figure rising to one in three for badgers and four in ten for weasels.

I agree with the central message behind Huawei's campaign, and there are certainly some lovely derelict building sites and polluted canals around Dagenham that I'm yet to explore. But the po-faced environmentalist in me wonders whether "getting closer to nature" armed with a gadget constructed from plastic, glass and various rare earth metals, and shipped from a factory in Shenzhen, is necessarily the most apt way to go about it.

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